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Kaufman-Darlington campaign withdraws from SGA presidential election

After unofficial meeting with SGA President Michael Lynch, candidate Josh Kaufman and running mate Nick Darlington withdraw candidacy

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Photo courtesy of DePaul For All

Photo courtesy of DePaul For All

Photo courtesy of DePaul For All

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The presidential race for student government (SGA) elections is over before it had a chance to begin.

Less than 24 hours after the polls opened, Josh Kaufman and Nick Darlington officially withdrew their candidacy for president and vice president, respectively. Kaufman told The DePaulia he is “frustrated” and that he will be resigning from his current post in SGA.

Darlington spoke on behalf of himself and not the campaign on Monday. He said that on Sunday Kaufman was asked to attend a meeting held by current SGA president Michael Lynch and treasurer Ben Bui. It was Kaufman’s understanding that his opponent, Jack Evans, would be in attendance — but when he arrived it was only Lynch and Bui.

“Josh felt attacked,” said Darlington. “He felt completely ambushed and rattled.”

Darlington said that instead of a meeting between two presidential candidates, Lynch and Bui “hammered” Kaufman, calling him an unfit candidate and questioning his policies.

But Lynch denies telling Kaufman he was an unfit candidate. Lynch said he wanted to talk to Kaufman about the hearing that was held last Thursday regarding paying student canvassers.

“I expressed to him my concerns as a candidate for president because of his honesty,” he said.

Lynch said that at no time did he ask Kaufman to resign and he was surprised when he found out the Kaufman-Darlington ticket had withdrawn their candidacy on Monday.

Lynch also said that Evans was originally supposed to be in attendance, but asked to recuse himself because he felt uncomfortable being at the meeting.Last week, Lynch officially endorsed the Evans-Bozich campaign in an open letter to The DePaulia.

Gracie Covarrubius, current SGA vice president and Election Operations Board (EOB) chair, said that “EOB was unaware that the meeting was taking place.” Additionally, she said the meeting was not a formal SGA meeting.

“We know that the meeting happened, but we can’t speak to what occurred during the meeting because we were not in attendance,” she said.

Kaufman recently received an official warning from EOB, for lying to the board. Kaufman denies any wrongdoing and felt the hearing was rushed.

The Evans-Bozich campaign had obtained screenshots that showed Kaufman offering student canvassers payment. At the time, there was no bylaw that prevented candidates from paying canvassers.

However, at the hearing, EOB decided that Kaufman did lie when he told a student “to say no.” Kaufman says his words were misconstrued and he didn’t have time to prepare an adequate defense, but ultimately EOB still found him guilty.

As of 5:00 p.m., Monday, Kaufman was unavailable for further comment.

On behalf of his campaign, Jack Evans issued the following statement to The DePaulia on Monday.

“We are saddened to hear about the withdrawal of the Kaufman-Darlington ticket,” he said. “‘We Are DePaul’ was excited to have a contested election to challenge viewpoints and bring new perspectives to SGA.”

Evans went on to say that his campaign understands the toll an election can take on candidate’s personal lives, and that he hopes Kaufman and Darlington will remain involved with student government.

Now that Kaufman and Darlington have withdrawn, it leaves Evans and Bozich with an uncontested race and a clear path to victory. Although technically another candidate could declare candidacy with a formal letter of intent, it seems unlikely at this juncture.

The Evans-Bozich campaign has ran a platform promising to bring diversity and equity to DePaul, along with increased sustainability.

This is a developing story. Stay tuned for updates.

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Kaufman-Darlington campaign withdraws from SGA presidential election